Ultralight is no passing fad, it’s a way of life. A slimmed down life that allows you to move quickly, suffer less pain, and truly connect to the natural world without the distraction of all those “things.” You are one with the wilderness, and have a consistent obsession with gear, and the reduction of that gear.
You saw off the end of your spare toothbrush. You dream about objects that nest together. You can calculate ounces to pounds to grams faster than a calculator, and you have at least one spreadsheet that references the function, purpose, and weight (obviously) of your gear. Or, maybe you don’t have all this stuff in your head; you simply know that less weight on the trail means you can reach the tallest peak, the deepest lake, and get into the true heart of the wild.
Our Recommended Gear and Outdoor Guides for the Ultralight Backpacker take into account that while you may or may not be a gearhead, you know how to cut the obese chaff from the titanium wheat. So do we. While this inherently caters to long distance thru-hikers, the ultralight movement is not exclusionary. Beginners can be ultralight; old-schoolers can convert. There is no club and the only hazing is when, inevitably, someone asks about your tiny pack on the trail.
Contrary to common belief, ultralight doesn’t have to cost your firstborn. It can be enjoyed by anyone with basic wilderness skills. Our approach is a bit like a missionary: Convert those who are curious to the ultralight ways, thereby lightening the collective load.
Explore Recommended Gear and Outdoor Guides for Ultralight Backpacker below!
Ultralight Backpacker Gear Reviews
Gear Test: Kahtoola EXOspikes Footwear Traction
We’re out there on the icy trails with the Kahtoola EXOspikes Footwear Traction, putting this footwear traction to the test.
Gear Test: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack
We’re out there in the backcountry with the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack, putting this backpack to the test.
Gear Test: Outdoor Vitals Summit Down Sleeping Bag
We’re out there in the wilds with the Outdoor Vitals Summit Down Sleeping Bag, putting this sleeping bag to the test.
Gear Test: Outdoor Vitals NovaPro Ultralight Jacket
We’re out there in the thick of it with the Outdoor Vitals NovaPro Ultralight Jacket, putting this down jacket to the test.
Patagonia Micro Puff Review
The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody weighs next to nothing, packs down to nothing, breathes like you’re wearing nothing, and is a whole lot warmer than nothing.
Patagonia R1 Hoody Review
The R1 Hoody is a veritable buffet of fleece-awesomeness for the gear addicted backpacker. Comfort, warmth, design, and sheer versatility at your service.
Granite Gear Crown 2 60 Review
The Granite Gear Crown 2 60 is versatile, adaptable, burly, and affordable for a backpacking pack. An excellent lightweight choice.
Ombraz Dolomite Armless Sunglasses Review
Ombraz Dolomite Armless Sunglasses review: Ample sun protection with premium materials, wide coverage, and striking style. Oh, and no sidearms.
Patagonia Baggies Review
The Patagonia Baggies thrive in the “chill” department. They are no-fuss, good-looking, surprisingly quick-drying shorts that you can wear for days on end.
Columbia Sandy River Shorts Review
Columbia Sandy River Shorts Review: Simple, comfortable and functional, these are multi-use shorts for days spent outside, inside and everywhere in-between.
Ultralight Backpacker Outdoor Guides
The Best Down Jackets of 2023
The best down jackets will keep you cozy in the wilderness, on the couch, or at the bar. We have tested many, and list the best down jackets for you, here.
The Best Fleece Jackets of 2023
The best fleece jackets are cozy, breathable, versatile, full of zippers and have unique features. We list the best here, and what makes them shine.
The Best 9 Rain Ponchos of 2023
Rain ponchos are the preferred rain protection of many outdoorsy folks. Why? Cause they’re versatile. Here are the best Rain Ponchos of 2021.
The Best Hiking Boots of 2023
We highlight the best hiking boots after researching and testing. Find the perfect lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight hiking boot for you!
The Best Hiking Sandals of 2023
We highlight the best hiking sandals of 2022 after researching and testing. Open toe, closed toe, or finger-style? Find the perfect hiking sandal for you!
The Best Hiking Shorts of 2023
Hiking shorts are the underrated all-stars of gear. The best hiking shorts kick sweat and chafe to the curb, and keep you trekking mile after mile.
How to Plan and Prepare for a Hike in High Winds
Windy weather doesn’t have to put a damper on your hike, as long as you come prepared for the conditions. Learn how to hike in high winds.
The 8 Best Backpacking Chairs of 2023
The best backpacking chairs will make camp way more comfortable. Lean back, get comfy, and prepare to find the right backpacking chair for you!
The Best Sleeping Pads for Backpacking of 2023
Get a comfy night’s rest with the best sleeping pads for backpacking. We list 10 of our favorite models, and give tons of sleeping pad advice on finding the right sleep for you.
The Best Outdoor Holiday Gifts for 2020
We showcase the best outdoor holiday gifts for 2020. Packed with stocking stuffers and showstopping gear for the outdoor adventurers on your shopping list.